Friday, January 29, 2010

Book Review(s): Aurora Teagarden Mysteries 1-3 by Charlaine Harris

Real Murders: Though a small town at heart, Lawrenceton, Georgia has it's dark side and crime buffs. One of whom is libarian Aurora "Roe" Teagarden, a member of the Real Murders Club, which meets once a month to analyze famous cases. It's a harmless pastime-until the night she finds a member killed in a manner that eerily resembles the crime the club was about to discuss. Roe will have to uncover the person behind the terrifying game, as herself and all the members of Real Murders, are prime suspects or potential victims.

A Bone to Pick: Aurora "Roe" Teagarden's fortunes change when a deceased acquaintance names her as heir to a rather substantial estate, including money, jewelry, and a house complete with a skull hidden in a window seat. Roe concludes that the elderly woman has purposely left her a murder to solve. So, she must identify the victim and figure out which one of her new, ordinary-seeming neighbors is a murderer-without putting herself in deadly danger.

Three Bedrooms, One Corpse: Deciding if she wants to go into real estate becomes a life-or-death choice for Aurora "Roe" Teagarden. A naked corpse is discovered at her first house showing. And when a second body is found in another house for sale, it becomes obvious that there is a very cool killer at large in Lawrenceton, one who knows a great deal about real estate and maybe too much about Roe.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Discussion: January's Book of the Month

How many endings did you get too? Did you have a favorite? Do you think this reflects real life choices? Do you only ever have 2 choices? Did you think it was a bit harsh? Did you think this book was fun? Would you recommend it to anyone?

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Book Review: The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters:
In a dusty post-war summer in rural Warwickshire, a doctor is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, its owners mother, son, and daughter struggling to keep pace. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life? Little does Dr. Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become entwined with his.

This book was shortlisted for The Man Book Prize 2009. This is a first by Sarah Waters for me and I know it won't be my last. I don't want to go too much into detail, but it's an excellent ghost story. Yet, I don't really like calling it a ghost story. I feel labeling it as such doesn't give it the credit it deserves. It's not a ghost story that you tell around the camp fire, but one that stays with you days after you've finished it. It also makes you want to go back and reread different parts of the story to see the clues you should have picked up on, but didn't because that's how well it's written.
I do warn readers that it was hard to get into at first. Nothing really exciting happens until the 3rd chapter. And the chapters are long about 30 pages each. I'm glad I stuck with it and finished. A must read for supernatural lovers. A lot of people compare it to Henry James' The Turn of the Screw (shortstory) which I would also recommend reading.

Visit Sarah Waters official website:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Please Help!!

I'm having a hard time finding a book for February!

I was thinking something romantic for Valentines Day, but I really don't want a corny romance novel.

Does anyone have a favorite love story to recommend?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pages to Screen: New Moon (Twilight Saga)

New Moon (2nd in the Twilight Saga) by Stephenie Meyer

I stuck my finger under the edge of the paper and jerked it under the tape. 'Shoot,' I muttered when the paper sliced my finger. A single drop of blood oozed from the tiny cut. It all happened very quickly then. 'No!' Edward roared ...Dazed and disorientated, I looked up from the bright red blood pulsing out of my arm - and into the fevered eyes of the six suddenly ravenous vampires. For Bella Swan, there is one thing more important than life itself: Edward Cullen. But being in love with a vampire is more dangerous than Bella ever could have imagined. Edward has already rescued Bella from the clutches of an evil vampire but now, as their daring relationship threatens all that is near and dear to them, they realise their troubles may just be beginning ...

In our very first post ( found here: we pretty much destroyed the series. Although I think we agreed that it could have been alright except for the 4th book, Breaking Dawn. Anyhow the point of this post is to find out what our followers thought of this book to movie (pages to screen) and any other opinion you have on the Twilight Saga as movies!

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Book Review: I Remember You

I Remember You By Harriet Evans:
The perfect book to curl up with on a long winter's evening. Rich, witty and moving I Remember You is for anyone who likes to dream about a new life -- and for anyone who still remembers their first love. Heartbroken Tess Tennant is leaving London and moving back to her picture-perfect home town to take up a teaching job. It's time for a fresh start, one with warm stone cottages, friendly locals in oak-beamed pubs and of course Adam, her best friend since childhood. But something isn't right in the town: Adam is preoccupied with a new girlfriend and the past is looming large again. So by the time she has to take her class on a trip to Rome, Tess is feeling reckless. Swept off her feet by a mysterious stranger, she finds herself falling in love. But her magical Roman Holiday is about to turn into a nightmare! Back in Langford, as autumn creeps towards Christmas, Adam is gone and everything has changed.Tess has to decide, once and for all, where she belongs and who with.
This is the first title I have ever read by Harriet Evans. It reminded me of Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern which did a much better job of the "best friends fall in love, but both are too scared to say anything until way later in life" story. That being said it was a nice romantic* novel that I think people could relate too. One of the things the author did that I found annoying was that she would introduce a character and tell you something special about them, a personality quirk or something, but then never mention it again because you were suppose to remember the name and the quirk. I couldn't keep them straight. Plus they didn't add that much to the story. I felt that more could have been focused on the two best friends Tess and Adam and their relationship. Which is why you read light romantic novels in the first place. The other thing she did that was annoying was give us back story that the main characters never knew or find out. I don't see why the reader would need to know it if the main characters didn't know it.
If you like best friends turned lover stories this is a book for you! If not I would give it a miss!

*I use the term romantic but not in a Mills Boon romance novel type way.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January's Book of the Month

Pretty Little Mistakes
by Heather McElhatton
It all begins after high school. Nothing’s simple anymore. Should you do the right thing and go to college? Or why not walk on the wild side and travel? Whatever you decide, just remember, PRETTY LITTLE MISTAKES isn’t like life: when you screw up, you can go back and start all over again… With more than 150 possible endings sewn into this startlingly fresh and original debut, you can experience lives taken to the depths of misery, or the heights of happiness and fulfilment. Because doesn’t everyone wonder What if…?

Whatcha Reading Wednesday

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Recommendation: The Heather Wells Mystery Series by Meg Cabot

Size 12 is Not Fat: When you peak at fifteen, where can things go but downhill?
Former teen pop sensation Heather Wells has hit rock bottom: tired of singing other people’s lyrics, she hasn't exactly been bombarded with recording contracts for her own songs. Worse, Dad’s in jail, Mom’s bolted for Buenos Aires, and Heather can’t seem to stop drowning her sorrows in Kit Kat bars. To top it all, Heather's fiancĂ© Jordan Cartwright has replaced her – on the charts as well as in his bed - with America’s newest number one pop sensation, Tania Trace.
When Heather finds a job in a New York college dorm--right around the corner from her temporary digs in her gorgeous friend Cooper's attic apartment - things seem to start looking up.... at least until girls in the dorm begin to perish at an alarming rate. Elevator surfing is the official explanation from university administration, but Heather has other suspicions, and - enlisting a reluctant Cooper's aid - she attempts to get to the bottom of the rash of teen deaths in the building where she works, never knowing that it isn’t her supper she’ll be singing for this time, but quite possibly her life.

Size 14 is Not Fat Either: It's the first day of the winter semester at New York College, and assistant dorm director Heather Wells has a lot more to worry about than roommate conflicts. One of the New York College cheerleaders has lost her head - literally - in the Fischer Hall cafeteria, and no one can find the rest of her.
With the entire population of the dorm under suspicion for murder, it doesn’t look like anyone on campus, least of all Heather, who is starting night classes, is going to have a good semester. She’s got a decapitated cheerleader and a demoralized student body to deal with, as well as enough guy problems to make a normal girl seek shelter in a convent. With her ex insisting she has to be at his wedding - The Celebrity Wedding of the Decade, her incompetent new boss freaking out over his job demands, her long lost father looking to reunite (with an eye on Heather’s far-from ample bank account), and the love of her life still no closer to realizing she’s the girl of his dreams, it’s no wonder Heather prefers questioning suspects to dealing with her personal life.
But when the murder trail leads her to the door of one of New York College’s oldest and wealthiest fraternities, Heather finds that initiation rites have been taken to a whole new level . . .

Size Doesn’t Matter: Heather should be happy. She’s finally got a boyfriend and although he was only supposed to be her "rebound guy", things have gotten serious fast . . .
She's also actually passing her first college course, and better yet her dad’s moving out.
On the down side, her boss, Dr. Veatch, may well be the most boring man on the face of the planet . . . But that hardly seems reason enough to put a bullet through his head. Can Heather find her boss’s murderer, answer Tad’s question, and get her landlord Cooper to realize that by letting her go, he’s making the biggest mistake of his life, all while maintaining a fifteen hundred calorie per day diet?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Book Review

Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult

For the second time in her marriage, Mariah White catches her husband with another woman, and Faith, their seven-year-old daughter, witnesses every painful minute. In the aftermath of a sudden divorce, Mariah struggles with depression and Faith begins to confide in an imaginary friend. At first, Mariah dismisses these exchanges as a child's imagination. But when Faith starts reciting passages from the Bible, develops stigmata, and begins to perform miraculous healings, Mariah wonders if her daughter a girl with no religious background might indeed be seeing God. As word spreads and controversy heightens, Mariah and Faith are besieged by believers and disbelievers alike, caught in a media circus that threatens what little stability they have left. Is Faith a prophet or a troubled little girl? Is Mariah a good mother facing an impossible crisis or a charlatan using her daughter to get attention?

Another Picoult novel that didn't disappoint. It's just something about the way she writes. Religion is a touchy subject at the best of times so this book could be touchy for some. Also if you are a strong non-believer you may find this book very ... annoying. It's not meant to try to make you believe, it's trying to get you to ask "what if?"
I read the book pretty quickly because I couldn't put it down. Although a good book and definitely recommended I felt like something was missing at the end. So, if anyone else has read this please let me know what you thought. I want to know if anyone else felt that way. Like something wasn't answered? Along with the last couple did you interpret that?

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Book Review

The Lost Book of Salem (UK) or The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane (USA) by Katherine Howe
N.B. THE LOST BOOK OF SALEM is published in the US under the title THE PHYSICK BOOK OF DELIVERANCE DANE. While clearing out her grandmother's’s cottage for sale, Connie Goodwin finds a parchment inscribed with the name Deliverance Dane. And so begins the hunt to uncover the woman behind the name, a hunt that takes her back to Salem in 1692 . . . and the infamous witchcraft trials. But nothing is entirely as it seems and when Connie unearths the existence of Deliverance’s spell book, the Physick Book, the situation takes on a menacing edge as interested parties reveal their desperation to find this precious artifact at any cost. What secrets does the Physick Book contain? What magic is scrawled across its parchment pages? Connie must race to answer these questions– and reveal the truth about Salem’s women– before an ancient family curse once more fulfils its dark and devastating prophecy . . .

This was one of those glaringly obvious books. I felt like screaming at the main character "LIKE DUH!?!?" The mystery wasn't much of a mystery. I love all sorts of super natural stuff and history so once again this book caught my attention.
Connie is suppose to be a history major or something at an ivy league university (please excuse me it's been a little while since I read the book) and she misses some of the most obvious clues. I thought she was suppose to be smart? and a good researcher? But she's neither when it comes to finding out who Deliverance Dane was. I thought the author dumbing down her leading lady was insulting to the reader.
It was for the most part an enjoyable read and would only recommend picking it up if you have absolutely nothing else to read and only if you borrow it. (I have it!) ;0) Don't waste money on it.

Cupcakes at Carrington’s by Alexandra Brown {book review}

Every month a blog I follow hosts a book club, but the books chosen all have to do with food. Particularly baking. It’s very similar to ...